7.7 (185)
Year opened:
Brora, KW9 6LB
Clynelish Distillery website

The story of Clynelish Distillery

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The barley that makes Clynelish™ is still malted in the Northern Highlands and water is still piped down from the Clynemilton Burn to the distillery. Through the craftsmanship of the Master Distiller, these combine to make the cool, coastal single malt whisky, aged in oak casks for at least fourteen years.The original distillery at Clynelish was purpose built to serve the new farms being established on the fertile land of Sutherland’s coastal strip. For a cost of just £750 in 1819, the future Duke of Sutherland was able to provide a ready market for the grain grown by his tenant farmers. It’s from these origins that we’re able to enjoy the highly regarded Clynelish today.Such was its reputation in those early days, that for many years, only private customers were supplied; “trade orders” were refused. In 1886 the early whisky tourist, Alfred Barnard, wrote that this was “always the highest priced of any Scotch whisky”.Yet less than fifty years later, the economic recession of 1931 forced the distillery to close. Production restarted in 1938, only to shut down again from May 1941 until November 1945 due to restrictions on the supply of barley during the Second World War.In the 1960’s, Clynelish was brought up to date when electricity was installed and still which had previously been heated by a hand-fired coal burning furnace were converted to internal steam heating. Then, true to its origins as a model design, Clynelish was replaced by a new distillery built on an adjacent site in 1967-68.The original distillery was closed for a short time but reopened as Brora Distillery from April 1969 until May 1983, producing a heavily peated whisky with a completely different character, leaving the new Clynelish to carry on the tradition.

Source: Diageo